Today we tweeted “S1 Morgan scenes are how Auggie should be handled. Shorter scenes where the kid is in more of a supporting role” and after we got a few responses we decided that we should explain our feelings in more detail.
We think it’s difficult, but not impossible, to write good drama with a five year old character. Great drama is at the root of great comedy. Auggie is a fun character and has worked really well in a supporting role in episodes like Girl Meets Maya’s Mother, Girl Meets Father, and Girl Meets the Truth. Overall, however, we don’t think he has had any real drama when he has taken the lead in his own plotline, and his scenes have gone on too long taking away from stories about Maya and Riley. In Girl Meets World of Terror we felt that the Auggie plotline was by far the weakest of the 3 stories. Though it had its strong points most of our listeners agreed with us that it went on too long and that they would have prefered a story about Lucas’s fears. Also, it is easy to disconnect from Auggie scenes when they play up his young age, such as holding up his hand to show how old he is repeatedly, or when he starts shrieking in a shouting match with the monster in GMWoT. Things like this can make his character feel very stereotyped and his scenes contrived. Overall it feels like they are pushing too hard to capture a “cute factor” and it detracts from the main plotline of the episode when this takes over. In addition much of the writing for his character seems forced and unrealistic (ie. him concerned about Ava’s affections); they serve as a placeholder for sentiments that do not originate from within the character, but rather from projected ideas rooted in the expectation of a stereotyped character. Season 1 Morgan was also used as a “cute factor” but not quite as bluntly and also did not hinder the progression of other characters in the way that Topanga then gets trapped into dealing almost only with Auggie in scenes that share the same central themes and structure.
A lot of our favorite moments of BMW were the ones that really hit you in the gut and were great character and drama moments. In season 1 of BMW Morgan had moments like this, such as when she broke the window in “Risky Business” and was worried she was going to be in trouble. This led to a great moment where Cory was worried for her safety, then took the blame for her, and was a great big brother. Morgan’s role, however, did not take over the whole episode and she was only in short, small scenes. None of this is to say we don’t like August Maturo, or that he hasn’t grown as an actor, but in our opinions he is just better utilized as a supporting character at this point in the series.